The Limbreth Gate by Megan Lindholm

A gypsy woman is drawn into a shadow world to fulfill the destiny created for her when she was briefly kidnapped as a child.

The Limbreth Gate is the third installment in Megan Lindholm’s Ki and Vandien Quartet, and is perhaps the most conventional of her books. The plotline is a familiar one–a shadow world opens up, sucking the main characters in–and while Lindholm doesn’t exactly take it to new heights, she does deliver a solid, well-written, suspenseful fantasy tale.

What I found most intriguing in The Limbreth Gate was discovering a precursor to one of the central story elements in the Farseer Trilogy, that of a quest requiring that a person empty his or her memories and feelings into an inanimate object to give it life. Ki’s scrabblings in the garden were akin to Verity’s sculpting of his Skill dragon, emptying himself so that it would fly, and her numbness at the end of the book echoed Fitz’s numbness after giving his pain to Girl-on-a-Dragon so to give her life. The notion that it is our experiences that make us alive seems to be central to Lindholm/Hobb’s work, and her ability to actualize that concept into a forward-moving plot is remarkable.

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